LongPen By Unotchit: Margaret Atwood's Telautograph For Book Signing
Margaret Atwood has fans on five continents; those book signing tours must be exhausting. Not content to merely write science fiction, she has created a device she calls a LongPen, which allows her to meet and sign books for her fans all over the world from her own home. And in doing so, she has brought into being the telautograph/telephot combination, about which Hugo Gernsback dreamed almost one hundred years ago.
(From LongPen - author viewpoint)
The fan sits down at a desk at a bookstore near his home, and presents his book. He can greet the author via the Internet video chat setup. The author sits in the comfort of her home and greets her fans, signing the book via the Internet-connected LongPen. Once the author has decided what to write, she writes it out on a touchpad.
(Signing via touchpad)
The LongPen makes use of an old-fashioned pen for the signing; it faithfully reproduces the author's comments and signature on the fan's book.
(LongPen book signing)
I wonder if Margaret Atwood knows that she has fully realized not just her own dream, but Hugo Gernsback's as well. In his 1911 classic Ralph 124c 41 +, he writes about a telautograph with a video connection (the Telephot):
She hesitated, and then, impulsively, "I wonder if it would be too much to ask you for your autograph?"
Ralph then attached the Telautograph to his Telephot while the girl did the same. When both instruments were connected he signed his name and he saw his signature appear simultaneously on the machine in Switzerland.
(Read more about Hugo Gernsback's telautograph)
Ms. Atwood, a Canadian writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, plans to unveil the device at the London Book Fair in two weeks. She remarks:
"You don't have to be in the same room as someone to have a meaningful exchange," she said. "As I was whizzing around the United States on yet another demented book tour, getting up at four in the morning to catch planes, doing two cities a day, eating the Pringle food object out of the mini-bar at night as I crawled around on the hotel room floor, too tired even to phone room service, I thought, 'There must be a better way of doing this.'"
(From Booker winner's robot brainwave)
You might be surprised to know that the idea of sending a signature by wire to a remote location was actually realized in the 19th century; click to read more about pantelegraph and Gray's telautograph. Read more about this story at Booker winner's robot brainwave may spell the end of the book tour; see the device video at the Unotchit website.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/19/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )
Related News Stories -
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.' - By Douglas Adams, 1979.
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K Dick, 1955.
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...' - Larry Niven, 1970.
The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System — call it artificial telepathy, if you like.' - Richard Meredith, 1969.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Neural Net Discovers Antibiotic
'...instantly the TEMS was ... creating and discarding scores of new sciences.'
China Delivery Robot Development Quickens During COVID-2019 Outbreak
'Something very much like a camouflage-painted kangaroo.'
Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'
Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'
Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'
CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'
Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'
Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'
Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'
Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'
The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'
Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'
Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories